Thursday, March 19, 2015

meyer lemon madeleines

Madeleines are the perfect little tea cookies.  You can argue that they aren't even cookies they are more like cakes.  Whatever they are they're pretty damn good and even better with fresh Meyer lemons.  Meyer lemons taste like an orange and a lemon had a love child.  A little tart and a little sweet, it makes for the perfect citrus fruit to add to your pastry.

Occasionally I get a box of organic fruits and vegetables delivered to my house from local farms.  It helps me try new ingredients and understand which types of produce are seasonal.  Meyer lemons have such a short window when they are ripe enough to eat and they spoil even quicker.  As soon as the delivery box came, I knew I didn't have much time but I knew exactly what I wanted to make.  Delicate little cookie cakes with an extra sugar coating.  This cookie will please the pickiest of eaters.

Meyer Lemon Madeleine Recipe
From Tutti Dolci


3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
Zest of 1 Meyer lemon
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 Tbsp honey (I used orange blossom honey)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2/3 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp Meyer lemon zest
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Whisk together flour, sugars, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest in a medium bowl. Whisk together eggs, honey, and vanilla in a small bowl. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir just until combined. Add melted butter and mix slowly but thoroughly until smooth. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour or up to a day.

Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a standard-size madeleine pan with nonstick spray; use a pastry brush to brush the inside of each mold. Spoon batter into molds, filling each about 3/4 full. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes, until cakes are pale gold and spring back to the touch. Immediately shake madeleines out over a clean dish towel; let cool.

To prepare glaze, whisk together powdered sugar, lemon zest, and juice in a small bowl. Use a pastry brush to glaze scalloped side of each baked madeleine. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 days.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

baked french toast

This is one of those prepared recipes I had in the freezer.  Pull it out on your lazy Sunday and voila!  My daughter literally could not keep her hands off of it.  If this toast is French, then I want dual citizenship.  Recipe below after the therapeutic topic of the week.

Theraputic topic for the week:  daily affirmations
Many times we find people putting themselves down.  It is almost as if they are convincing themselves of things that aren't true.  This could be for a number of different reasons.  Certain life experiences can decrease self esteem or maybe we were never encouraged to believe that we could achieve what we wanted.  Increasing your confidence takes time and you can start by using daily affirmations.  You can read the list I have below every morning when you wake up.  Sometimes I suggest that people create their own if these ones don't speak to them.  Personal affirmations are the best way to increase self esteem and remind yourself that you are worthy of the same things that others are.  So here is the list.  Please share with others if you find it helpful.

Daily Affirmations

In this space, and in this time, I am an essential person to the world.

My journey in life is unique - it is MY journey.

I deserve to be loved by myself and by others.

I have ample leisure time without feeling guilty.

As a citizen of the world, I deserve love, peace, prosperity and serenity.

I am not alone. There are people who understand me.

I love myself unconditionally.

I can respect my rights and the rights of others.

It’s okay to ask for help today.

Just for today, I will be glad to have feelings - happy, sad, depressed… whatever - because I’m human.

Just for today, I will respect my own and other’s boundaries.

Just for today, I will take one compliment and hold it in my heart for more than just a fleeting moment. I will let it nurture me.

Just for today, I will act in a way that I would admire in someone else.

Just for today, I will make decisions that will feel good tomorrow.

Baked French Toast Recipe


For the french toast:
Butter, For Greasing
1 loaf Crusty Sourdough Or French Bread
8 whole Eggs
2 cups Whole Milk
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract

For the topping
1/2 cup Flour
1/2 cup Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Salt
Freshly Grated Nutmeg (optional)
1 stick Cold Butter, Cut Into Pieces
Warm Syrup, For Serving
Butter, For Serving

For the French toast: Grease the baking pan with butter. Tear the bread into chunks, or cut into cubes, and evenly distribute in the pan. Crack the eggs in a big bowl. Whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Pour evenly over the bread. Cover the pan tightly and store in the fridge until needed (overnight preferably). Or you can make it and bake it right away---delicious no matter what!

For the topping: Mix the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and some nutmeg in a separate bowl. Stir together using a fork. Add the butter and with a pastry cutter, and mix it all together until the mixture resembles fine pebbles.

Store in a plastic bag in the fridge.  (This is the point I would store it in the freezer until a lazy Sunday!)

When you're ready to bake the casserole, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the casserole from the fridge and sprinkle the topping over the top. Bake for 45 minutes for a softer, more bread pudding texture or for 1 hour-plus or more for a firmer, crisper texture.

Scoop out individual portions. Top with butter and drizzle with warm pancake syrup and powdered sugar (as if there isn't enough!).

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